The Pubs of Great Wyrley and Leacroft: One Swan Inn and One Swan Out

Posted: May 4, 2016 in Family History, Pubs and Clubs

The Swan Inn, Walsall Road, Gt Wyrley. 2016.

The Swan Inn, Walsall Road, Gt Wyrley. 2016.

As I started to piece together a development theory for the Swan Inn in Wyrley it became obvious that somewhat larger elements of local and family history were involved: chief of these were the fact we were dealing an extended family – named Greensill – that operated two pubs, at least in 1834, which were both called The Swan. One Swan, that in Great Wyrley, survives; the other, a stone-throw into Leacroft, is now defunct. I knew that if I traced what I could of the Leacroft Swan this article would be significantly extended, I therefore decided to split the original article into two with this part dealing with the name and origins of the two pubs, as well as the lifespan of the Leacroft Swan…

  1. Pedro says:

    No joy concerning the Swan in Parsons of 1818 or Pigot of 1828/9.

    However, in the Newspaper Archives for Feb of 1842, there was an auction held at the Swan Inn, Great Wyrley. Among the sales was the Barley Mow, a dwelling house, used as a public house situate in Great Wyrley, fronting the turnpike road leading from Walsall to Stafford and in the occupation of James Green.

    (In Parsons there is a description of GW, will post later)

  2. Pedro says:

    In Parsons (1818) there is a short description of Great Wyrley…

    “this township, according to the population returns in 1811, contained 82 houses inhabited by 82 families, of whom 51 employed in agriculture, 31 in trade, manufacturers, or handicraft arts. The Number of persons was 361 of whom are 187 miles, 174 females. The village contains a few well built farm houses and tenements, with a number of cottages of every variety of rude architecture, from the clay built shed to the convenient dwelling. It was formerly the reputed home for beggars, who when asked where they came from replied Wyrley Bank. It was then a nursery for illegitimate children, and became a nuisance, to correct which, it was annexed to Cannock as a township, and to Chesly Hay a respecting the provision for its poor.”

  3. Helen Ralphs says:

    I have been thinking about the interior of the Swan and reading your article in the Reflections Over the Years book.

    Can you make a guess as to the age of the lovely serving bar? Is it Victorian or later?

    I took a photograph of the small, smoke room to the left of the bar in about 2000.
    It shows hard, upholstered bench seats with bell pushes above them. I feel that a bell service linked this room to the bar and perhaps the earlier hand/coil bells were even used rather than a serving hatch. In my photograph there is also a screen around the exterior door protecting customers from the elements.

    The old photograph dating from the 1900s in the Reflections book has the words “H. Oakley” just about readable above the window. This reference to Herbert Oakley could help date it further. The photograph reveals that it was a hotel and the upper rooms do or did have numbers on them. As an inn there were never any paying guests on the census returns but maybe the Swan Hotel did have them, perhaps the bell pushes date from this period.

    • wyrleyblog says:

      Hi Helen, i was going to update the article- the building was there in 1823 i think, and oakley does date it- havent got his tenure date to hand at moment. No plans survive, but i suspect the interior has been remodelled a few times. May come back to it after article i am currently doing

  4. Helen Ralphs says:

    Regarding part 2 of your Swan history the news archives has a newspaper article that puts John Greensill as landlord and owner in 1886. He must be the son of Thomas Greensill living in the wheelwrights cottages on the Walsall Road. I thought that he could be landlord but owner? I am going to have a look at the court rolls at Stafford again to see if the Swan is mentioned.

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